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Tracklist: 1. Isla Misteriosa 6:59 2. Horizontes Infinitos 5:20 3. Cancion Para Ella 6:04 4. El Forastero 3:55 5. Sobre el Abismo 7:12 6. Pasiones 6:00 7. No Es Contigo 8:54 8. Picacho de Galipan 6:12 9. Noche en la Gran Ciudad 4:14 10. El Virus 6:58 All music & lyrics by I. Lares, expect 9 - lyrics by L. Conteras. Line-up: Ignacio Lares - keyboards Luis Conteras - bass; vocals Jaime Hernandez - drums Recorded, mixed, & produced by Ficcion from 1979 to 1986 (tracks 1-8) and in 2000 (tracks 9 & 10).
Prologue. I have never listened to the music of this band until now. It seems to me that I've heard that Ficcion exists from the middle of the 1970s - a fact of which I cannot be certain. As for the Venezuelan Prog export, the only ProGduct from there that I was acquainted with until now is the debut album by Rigel Michelina, which was released by "Musea" several months ago. (To read the review of it, click here).
The Album. All of the tracks that are featured on Ficcion's album "Sobre el Abismo" were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which, on the whole, is close to that of ELP at their most ProGductive period in first half of the 1970s. However, despite the fact that the music on this album is obviously influenced by ELP, there are enough of the band's own ideas on it as well. With the exception of El Virus (track 10), "Sobre el Abismo" sounds by no means derivative. As for the last track on the album, it is completely infected with the virus of wannabe-ism: it sounds like it's ill with influenza, but not like being only influenced by the same ELP, of course. The songs El Forastero and Noche en la Gran Ciudad (4 & 9) are based almost completely on vocals. However, since the instrumental arrangements are more or less intensive throughout each of these tracks, both of them can be regarded as merely good Classic Art-Rock songs. The alternation of vocal and instrumental parts is typical for Horizontes Infinites and Sobre el Abismo (2 & 5), both of which are excellent songs by all means. All five of the remaining tracks are the true masterpieces of Classic Symphonic Progressive. Three of them, namely Isla Misteriosa, Cancion Para Ella, and No Es Contigo (1, 3, & 7), are songs, though the instrumental parts with the large-scaled and very diverse arrangements cover no less than two thirds of each of them. Two remaining tracks are the instrumental pieces Pasiones and Picacho de Galipan (6 & 8). Both of them are not only as diverse and intriguing as Isla Misteriosa, Cancion Para Ella, and No Es Contigo, but also very original and free of any influences. The first of them contains a short yet truly remarkable vocalize. While the second one, which is notable for the sounding of castanets, has an obvious Spanish flavor to it. All five of the best tracks are just filled with all of those essential progressive ingredients that are typical for Classic Symphonic Art-Rock. I think, it's not a necessity to enumerate them. To have an idea of them, it would be enough to recall ELP's "Trilogy", for example. I'd better direct your attention on the equipment, which was used by the band's mastermind Ignacio Lares on this album. Of course, those tracks that, apart from the solos and passages of various synthesizers, contain also the parts of organ and both of an acoustic and electric piano sound richer than the others. In particular, the set of all of the aforementioned keyboards is featured on Isla Misteriosa, Horizontes Infinites, Pasiones, Picacho de Galipan, Noche en la Gran Ciudad. While on Cancion Para Ella, El Forastero, Sobre el Abismo, No Es Contigo, and El Virus were used the lesser number of different keyboards. All three of the band members are very talented musicians. Also, it must be said that in the arrangements, the solos of bass guitar play practically the same role as all of the parts of keyboard instruments.
Summary. There is nothing revolutionary on "Sobre el Abismo". However, a vintage Classic Symphonic Art-Rock, which is presented by a power keyboard trio Ficcion on this album, is very solid. Certainly, I find the music by Ficcion stronger than that by Rigel Michelina. I think, the "Sobre el Abismo" album should gladden most lovers of Classic Symphonic Progressive.
VM. April 23, 2002
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